In today's MEET THE MAKER post we are delighted to be introducing you to Frances McCready - the creative genius behind The Beagle and The Blackbird. Frances began exhibiting with us back in 2016 and we are in awe of her talents and magical creations. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing her work then you will be in for a treat if you visit our next event as she will be exhibiting at The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair at Belfast Castle on Sunday 2nd April. But for now, why not make yourself a nice cup of tea and sit down to enjoy what goes on behind the scenes at The Beagle and The Blackbird..........
So Frances, where does your business name The Beagle and The Blackbird come from?
The Beagle is sadly no longer with me but the Blackbird visits my workshop each day looking to be fed and he sometimes sits awhile, he's just lovely, a real wee friend.
How would you describe your creative business and what materials do you like to work with?
I work with wool fibres, that's unspun wool, most of which is undyed Jacob and transform it in to quirky, recognisable creatures full of personality, character and fun. There is a special magic when each piece is finished and a little face is looking back at me. In needlefelting there is no shortcut and even the tiniest item takes many hours to complete and what you have is a totally unique friendly little creature guaranteed to make you smile.
What influences your designs at the moment?
I am currently working on a range of miniatures that are just too too cute. Influences for me are wildlife books and programmes, Beatrix Potter and of course my favourite The Animals of Farthing Wood, mixing the real with the imagined.
Frances and her Beagle and the Blackbird creations will be appearing with Frock Around The Clock at the following events:
2nd April - The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair
16th September - The Spectacular Autumn Vintage & Handmade Fair
COMPETITION ALERT!! One lucky person will also soon be able to win a beautiful needlefelted sleeping mouse in his own cosy box as show below as part of our April Prize Package on Sunday 2nd April at Belfast Castle!
For more information visit The Beagle and the Blackbird on Facebook.